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a bit of a contradiction, but i need some help

Travel Forums Europe a bit of a contradiction, but i need some help

1. Posted by HGofBoston (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

my name is heather and this is my first time posting on this site. as my subject states, my problem is a little bit of a contradiction. i want to travel through europe next summer (07) with a friend. right now, im 17 years old but by then i will be 18. i know some things that i want to do there, but i dont know how much money i would need to accumulate in order to stay for about a month. and i live in the US so i would have to exchange my US money for euro, correct? are there countries that dont accept euro? should i just get a credit card and use only enough that i can afford to spend? i want to leave around the first of july and come back the beginning of august. is that ok? ever since i was little, i have dreamed of doing this the summer before my freshman year of college. now that im actually thinking about it, there is so much work involved! but i know that in the end, it will be worth it! thanks in advance for any input or advice.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Hi Heather!

First off, welcome to TP! You'll find lots of advice for your travels here.

Secondly, the answers to some of your questions require more questions! How much to save depends on where you're planning to go. London, for example, is terribly expensive - but eastern Europe is much more affordable. You will have to exchange your U.S. dollars for Euro (you can also take out Euro at ATMs once you arrive - or simply use your credit card most of the time), which means you'll probably lose money on the exchange. Not all countries in Europe use the Euro, but any country in the European union does (except for the UK, which kept the pound sterling). So far as I know, your money will go farther in countries that don't use the Euro (except, of course, for the UK).

There will be lots of tourists in July, and the southern coutries will be almost unbearably hot, but much of France just about shuts down in August, so it's good time to go if you're headed that way.

If you have any more questions, ask away!

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Whoops! Turns out only 12 countries in the European union currently use the Euro. I should have checked first!

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

Welcome Heather!

We recently had this thread about cost of one month in Western Europe:

http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=24162

The prices in EUR should still be about the same when you go.

You can find the exchange rates here: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Be aware that they change, there is no way to predict where the USD will be next summer against the EUR. (Ergo: no way to tell you how much everything will be in U.S. dollars in summer 2007.)

I suggest you read a bit of the posts in this forum to get an idea.

In one month you will be able to see no more than two countries, maybe three if you really rush. That means you have to pick out of the 40+ countries that actually make up Europe. Some people also include countries like Morocco or Tunisia into Europe trips (very easy to do and it really broadens your mind).

Some sites to get you started:

http://www.ricksteves.com
http://www.eurail.com
http://www.eurolines.com
http://www.flybudget.com
http://www.skyscanner.net
http://www.orbitz.com/

Your first step however should be applying for a passport.

See: http://travel.state.gov/

You can make that passport a gift to yourself for your 18th birthday.

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 12, 2006 12:01 PM by t_maia ]

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Whoops! Turns out only 12 countries in the European union currently use the Euro. I should have checked first!

Yeah, your forum replies on Canada are way better, tway!

For the money issue I recommend just taking an ATM card or a Visa credit card. They give the best exchange rate. Don't take traveller's cheques or US dollars in cash. Practically useless.

Tip: If you are going to Germany for the whole month, consider opening an account with Citibank in NYC. They have branches all over Germany as well as one in London and withdrawing money from the Citibank account in NYC from a Citibank ATM in Europe is free of charge.